The Gehlert family, owners and operators of Cadillac Coffee Co., a Midwest roaster and distributor of fine coffees, located in Ft. Wayne, Ind., celebrates 125 years in coffee, this year.
Back in 1888, founding member Richard Steven Gehlert started selling coffee to local grocery stores, restaurants and clubs in the Detroit, Mich. area. After a short apprenticeship in New York, N.Y. working for coffee brokers Packard, Thomas & Co. and Eppens, Smith & Wieman; Gehlert returned to Detroit to head up the manufacturing department at Phelps, Brace & Co., and then started his own coffee company in 1897.
In 1903, Gehlert’s company, the Gehlert Coffee Co., opened its first roasting plant, a five-story building located among the many wholesale companies lining Jefferson Ave. in downtown Detroit. Nicknamed “the House of Gehlert,” Gehlert built a business that has lasted five generations and grown into a major wholesale supplier of fine coffees and related foodservice items with branches located in Southeast, Mich.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Mishawaka, Ind.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Columbus, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio and Cleveland, Ohio.
“Though our name has changed from the Gehlert Coffee Co. to R.S. Gehlert and Co., then finally Cadillac Coffee Co.,” stated Guy Gehlert current owner and vice president of marketing in a prepared statement, "our quality standards have and always will remain high.”